The University of Toronto holds a picnic for alumni once each year. It is preceded by the Alumni Association’s general meeting, which is followed by a talk.
This post is really about two such talks. (The picnics were fine. The meetings were dull.)
The earlier talk was many years ago. The speaker was John Tory. The audience included some of his entourage, who tried to talk up the rest of us afterward. I was only mildly impressed by Mr. Tory. (I am less impressed by Mayor Tory now.)
The talk this year was by Jennifer Keesmat. I had researched her and expected quite a lot. I was not disappointed, more like overwhelmed.
Keesmat knows what a pleasant city should include, and how to get there from here. Keesmat understands how ‘oasis’ buildings ensure those who live there must drive to do anything but sleep. Keesmat understands what a decent mixed neighbourhood would include, and gave some examples, of good ones and bad ones.
Keesmat wants Tory’s job. I want her to get it. As for city politics and living reality, I can assure you that Keesmat gets it.
The United States’ Supreme Court consist of nine judges. They essentially can, by a decision, overrule a law (for being unconstitutional, for example) or a previous decision by a lower court.
For a quick look at the supreme court’s members you can go here.
You may remember that the POTUS, Trump, succeeded in getting a nominee onto the supreme court. A recent 5-4 decision went against public sector unions, preventing them from collecting dues from non-members who nonetheless benefited from their union’s negotiations. You can find details here.
More alarmingly, Trump’s anti-Muslim travel ban just got upheld, again by 5-4. The argument was that Trump’s statements during the campaign did not constitute discriminatory intent. You can see this one here.
Trump will have another chance to ‘pack’ the supreme court as a retirement has been announced. You can read this here.
If you care about abortion law, just wait. Iowa wants detection of fetal heartbeat to be an option killer. This has been stayed. However, with the new supreme court makeup in just a few months, this could go much farther than just one state. You can read this one here.
Trump is rewriting the rules of international diplomacy. He is rewriting the rules of international trade.
Now he is rewriting rules that once were considered logical under the Constitution.
May God have mercy on us all.
Is actually too long for a blog entry. However
you will find one reason. Quoted below, emphasis as always, mine.
‘These child actors weeping and crying on all the other networks 24/7 right now — do not fall for it, Mr President,’ she warned Trump. ‘I get very nervous about the president getting his news from TV.’
Isn’t that amazing, commenting on a POTUS who puts his entire policy (retractions and all) on Twitter.
Netanyahu has added gasoline to the fire on Iran. With peccable timing, he has ‘proven’ that Iran reneged on its dealings with regard to the sanctions/nuclear research agreement.
Here you will find (if you haven’t seen it already) how this proof was demonstrated. I use the word demonstrate for a reason: it’s all, imho, just pure show.
In this writing room I have a large shelf-full of binders similar to those shown by Netanyahu. I could, with a curtain and a helpful TV crew, unveil these and claim they are historical proof that Netanyahu has ordered slaughters in Palestine, mostly by bombing. If you search for ‘Israel bombs Palestine’ in YouTube you’ll see there are lots of confirming instances of my claim.
Netanyahu’s proof is simply pointing to a set of binders and claiming what is in them.
Contrarily, the inspections of Iran are surprisingly invasive, and have given the international community strong evidence that Iran is indeed fully complying with the agreement.
But, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the USA are all dead set against Iran. Thus the ‘proof’ and its acceptance by Donald Trump, POTUS.
Who would deal with this president? Expert advice goes unheeded. Deals are broken due to a publicity stunt. I guess that’s today’s dumb question.
Oliver North is about to become the head of the NRA. He will be trying for even more political clout and more members, and of course, less gun control.
You can find out about that here, among other places.
Oliver North avoided jail by testifying before Congress about the scheme involving Iran and the Contras and Nicaragua. Partly to get hostages back, US weapons were sold (illegally) to Iran. North’s brilliant addition to the scheme was to use the money (illegally) to fund the Contras operating out of Honduras against the government of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua. I might note that Ortega is still in power there. You can find out more about this at this page.
Allow me to pontificate / rant here for a sentence or two.
One is not offered immunity from prosecution, nor does one need to accept it, if one is innocent. I can be forgiven for considering North to be a self-demonstrated criminal.
It was North who advised the Contras, to be more successful in their incursions into Nicaragua, to hit ‘soft targets:’ hospitals, markets, and schools. These tactics continue to be used today, for example in Syria and Yemen.
The NRA has made an ‘interesting’ choice of leader. North is media-famous and clearly a weapons hawk. Just what we need, after the Florida school shooting: contra-publicity for the NRA.
Here is a link to this interview.
Here is one link where you can find out. I’ll content myself with a few small quotes. Emphasis mine, as always.
The New Mexico native graduated university with degrees in biology and agribusiness before joining the US Navy.
Biology is a tough subject. I know. I got Grade 13 biology after going to work. I am an armchair biologist today. The more you learn, the more you learn you don’t know much.
She was among the first cohort of female fighter pilots to transition tactical aircraft, the US Navy has confirmed.
Mrs Shults served in the US Navy for 10 years and flew fighter jets.
Now you know who she is. She safely landed a passenger airplane with an exploded engine.
Tammie Jo Schults, the pilot came back to speak to each of us personally. This is a true American Hero.
US Navy? Fighter jets? I think that means aircraft carrier take-offs and landings.
Thank God those skills were in the WestJet cabin.
One passenger died, as a result of her window being smashed. She was a banking vice president with two children. I will not name her here, but extend my condolences to her remaining loved ones. An atrocious stroke of bad luck. I am so sorry.
Bashar Assad is killing his own people. The Russian five-hour-daily cease-fire for humanitarian aid and civilian exit is just hot air.
(The advice given to the Honduran Contras attacking Nicaragua was, go for soft targets. Markets, schools, and hospitals. This ‘strategy’ is a gift of Richard Nixon and Oliver North. It is now standard practice.)
The Syrian regime is bombing hospitals, homes, whatever in Eastern Ghouta.
You can google the title phrase of this post. Or you can click here and scroll down to the ‘disturbing’ video.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.
Lest anyone gain the impression that President Donald Trump is feeling any regret over his recent provocations of North Korea — calling its leader “Rocket Man” and threatening to “totally destroy” the country with “fire and fury” — recent days have only seen an intensification of the president’s rhetoric.
FP quote. (http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/11/trumps-empty-north-korea-threats-will-lead-to-humiliation-or-war/)
The NRA should wake up here. If warfare ‘degenerates’ to sticks and stones, there won’t be anyone making new bullets (or assault rifles, either.) (me.)
For the next six months, [Democratic presidential candidate and then-Vice President of the United States, Al Gore] is going to smear you as the enemy. He will slander you as gun-toting, knuckle-dragging, bloodthirsty maniacs who stand in the way of a safer America. Will you remain silent? I will not remain silent. If we are going to stop this, then it is vital to every law-abiding gun owner in America to register to vote and show up at the polls on Election Day.
So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands!’
No, Mr. Heston. From your fried dead hands. They may glow in the dark. You won’t be able to buy bullets.
So here’s today’s dumb question:
Who do you trust and believe?
- A self-identified NRA puppet and ex-actor?
- A psychopathic POTUS?
- Albert Einstein?
Have a nice life, what’s left of it.
Here you will find an interesting analysis of appointments by POTUS that require Senate confirmation. I will summarize:
Some 268 posts have not even started the confirmation process. 261 have no nominee.
POTUS, a.k.a. Donald Trump, has an explanation which you can find here.
I will content myself with a single quote, emphasis mine:
President Trump says: “I’m the only one that matters” in setting U.S. foreign policy, thus downplaying the importance of high-level jobs such as the assistant secretary of state, which is currently vacant.
“Let me tell you, the one that matters is me,” Trump said in an interview that aired on Fox News on Thursday night. “I’m the only one that matters, because when it comes to it, that’s what the policy is going to be. You’ve seen that, you’ve seen it strongly.”
The president was responding to a question from Fox’s Laura Ingraham, who asked him, “Are you worried that the State Department doesn’t have enough Donald Trump nominees in there to push your vision through?”
Apparently, when you’re Donald Trump, you don’t worry, especially about facts.